The American Heart Association claims that cardiovascular disease (CVD) takes more lives in the US each year than all different types of cancer put together. Imagine the scope of the disease worldwide.
It also claims more lives than all forms of chronic lower respiratory illnesses, including asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
According to The Monday Campaigns, there are three significant risk factors for heart disease that can be managed:
Excessive blood pressure and high cholesterol are the two factors that can be influenced by food.
The organisation is urging people to adopt a number of crucial dietary adjustments that will lower their chance of developing heart disease and enhance their general health.
Foods that promote heart health
There are numerous foods associated with good heart health, but according to Sharon Palmer, a registered dietitian, author, and blogger at The Plant-Powered Dietitian, the top three are as follows:
“Pulses and soy foods are rich in fibre, which can help reduce LDL blood cholesterol levels, glucose levels, and chronic inflammation,” Palmer was quoted as saying by Healthline. “In addition, these fibre-rich foods can boost the gut microbiome, which has impacts on heart health.”
She explained that while nuts and seeds also contain heart-healthy unsaturated fats that have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol levels, they also contain fibre and phytochemicals.
The unifying factor among these foods, according to Samantha Cochrane, a registered dietician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Centre, is that they are all plant-based. “In general, plant-based foods will provide the nutrients you need to consume more of to improve the health of your heart. Unsaturated fats, fibre, and a number of phytochemicals are among these nutrients.”
She advises that the best approach to receiving the nutrients you need to support a healthy heart is to try to eat a range of plant-based foods.
Foods that are bad for heart health
“When it comes to … ways to eat heart healthy, making good choices is less about avoiding specific foods and more about awareness of certain nutrients and how much you eat of these things,” Cochrane was quoted as saying by the outlet.
She advised avoiding all foods containing trans fats because they cause the body to swell up and cause inflammation.
The majority of foods don’t contain trans fats, but those that may still be classified as having none on the nutrition label. To ensure there aren’t any, look for the term “partial hydrogenated fat” in the ingredients list. Saturated fat is another item to watch out for.
Studies on saturated fat in food and heart health show that diets heavy in this particular type of fat may be linked to elevated cholesterol, which may elevate the risk of cardiac arrest.
Animal products and tropical oils both include saturated fats.